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Imperial 528's Starship Thread [No 56k]

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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-10-27 03:53pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
I made a flickr account, since it uploads as .jpg, but unfortunately the quality is lower because it resized them, and I did not tell it too.

Since I can't find the thumbnail option, I'll just post them here:

Image

Image
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Kenny_10_Bellys
PostPosted: 2010-10-27 05:31pm 

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Joined: 2003-01-20 08:19am
Posts: 836
Location: Central Scotland
Flickr is class, dead easy to use. Just click the 'share this' button next to the photo, select BBS code and choose the size of thumbnail you want. All you do then is copy & paste the code into the reply box. Job done.

As for the Starcraft ship, I think its pretty fugly to be honest. However, the model shows just how much better your modeling has become over the past few weeks, you should be very pleased with yourself. Well done.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-10-27 08:53pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
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The Cruiser's not even near done anyway, right now it's at the bare basics (Just added the four hangar bays on the back of the hammer head 8)). If you ever have the chance to watch the original SC's cinematics which have battlecruisers in them, I think you'll see that in a sort of militaristic manor, they're quite beautiful.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-10-29 08:50am 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
Here's a shot of the changes on the rear of the hammer head:

Image

It's my first attempt at random windows.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-11-09 09:10pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
Well, took a break from the battlecruiser for a bit, and decided that I wanted to design a ship that wouldn't look out of place in Trek. So, I present the Valor-class:

Front:
Image
Side:
Image
Top:
Image
Bottom:
Image
Rear:
Image
Iso:
Image

The two large holes coming out of the bottom of the hull are some sort of fusion cannons or rail guns, I can't decide which. The single-barrel turrets are particle pulse weapons, and the four-hole turrets are guided torpedo launching turrets. The green on the back of the nacelles is the business end of the STL drive, and the majority of the nacelles are warp drive related.

The buldge at the front of the ship is the beginings of a sensor suite. And to those hoping for any windows, I'm sorry to disapoint you, but the users and builders of this ship are a machine race, so they don't need windows. I'll make up for it by making more sensors though.

Also, in case you can't tell, the cut away area on the back is a shuttle bay, but from a head-on angle you can't see the individual bays.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-11-22 11:02pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
I was recently looking back at the Warlord, seeing if I could make a varient to make up for what its lacking in its universe, but the attempts resulted in failure. So, rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to make a whole new ship from the ground up purpose-built to destroy heavily armored leviathans that the Warlord would have a tougher time with. This is the Longsword-class battleship, and it's about twice the length of the Warlord, and probably about three to five times the weight class, with firepower to match:

Front:
Image
Side:
Image
Top:
Image
Bottom:
Image
Back:
Image
Iso:
Image

When I designed this I tried to build off of the design characteristics of the Warlord, namely the shape and feel of the ship. It has the hunched-over slope that the superstructure of the Warlord had, although minus the hull ridge, and it has the ability to lay devastating amounts of firepower directly in front of it. I also went for a more armored look, though, to show that this is a true battleship, while the Warlord is closer to a battlecruiser and is more of an "offense is the best defense" style ship, with the Longsword being a ship made to soak up fire and dish out an impressive armament of its own.

Overall, I think that they have equivalent amounts of firepower, but that the key difference is that the Longsword's is more directed, while the Warlord's is much more flexible. The opposite is true of their heavy weapons, since the Warlord's heavy guns are all spinal mounted and the ship has to align with the target, while the Longsword's four rail gun turrets can swivel to target multiple heavily armored foes or be directed forward to deliver a crippling salvo.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-11-30 07:16pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
Here's a new project, it's a combination orbital-atmospheric fighter, meant for things like atmospheric air support and intercepting landers or light warships. Originally, I was trying to make a large warship, and then I started on the wings and decided to make a small frigate, but then when I started on the engines I felt like it was best to make a fighter instead. So, without further delay, here it is so far:

Front:
Image
Side:
Image
Top:
Image
Bottom:
Image
Back:
Image
Iso:
Image

For the design, I got some inspiration from the SR-71 Blackbird. For scale, the length from tip to tail is 193' 1.2".
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-12-23 06:12pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
So, back to spaceships.

I've made several models recently, and have been playing with the textures that Grahf gave me. I've also discovered Kerkythea, a rendering program, which can be partially integrated with Sketchup, allowing me to export and render models after making them and placing lights in Sketchup.

So, without further ado, here's a Destroyer, it's my first render with lights:
Image

Also, the two blue lights are retro thrusters in station-keeping mode. It's a low quality render, but that's because I wanted to test out the lights more so than quality.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-12-26 07:18pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
I wonder why the lack of comments?

It's not like I haven't been providing plenty of fodder for criticism of any kind.
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Kenny_10_Bellys
PostPosted: 2010-12-26 07:59pm 

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Joined: 2003-01-20 08:19am
Posts: 836
Location: Central Scotland
This is no surprise, this is one of the quietest boards i visit. And its the holidays, dont forget.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 12:12am 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
That is true, but it can't have been the holidays since early November, unless I happen to have a faulty calendar, lol.
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Knife
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 01:14am 

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Sorry dude, holidays and all, plus Kenny is right, the board has slowed down a lot the last year or so. Anyways, I like the engines on the new one, not to keen on the bow and weapons arrangements. Kind of makes firing arcs small.
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Kenny_10_Bellys
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 08:21am 

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Joined: 2003-01-20 08:19am
Posts: 836
Location: Central Scotland
Your recent stuff is looking rather 2 dimensional, very flat and thin looking creations. I'd like to see you shake that up a bit and get away from that kind of 2D thinking. Try making something other than a long flat thing with turrets. Go completely in the other direction and make a submarine or space station, or perhaps try and make a copy of an existing design. You might find this forces you to learn new techniques, and gives you new ideas for your own designs.

Your renders now look way better now that you've switched to Kerkythea, definately a good move.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 11:40am 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
I tried making a space station once. It was a complete and utter failure.

Although, I do have something that is possibly less 2D, and unfortunately I can't get the render to work right in Kerkythea, so screens from Sketchup will have to do:
Image

In an hour or so I'll post something new. I've recently been studying Grahf's designs, to see if I could adapt his style to use with mine, but so far, no such luck. I think it's because of the way I start my models, I usually start with a 1' line, create a silhouette and extrude from there, then scale up and start adding engines and such.
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Kenny_10_Bellys
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 12:32pm 

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Joined: 2003-01-20 08:19am
Posts: 836
Location: Central Scotland
Now that is a bit of an improvement right there, a bit less of an extruded sketch and more three dimensional in design. You shuold maybe take a look on some other forums for advice. Over on the Trek BBS there are people regularly making quite rounded Trek designs with Sketchup, it must be possible using some tool or other.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 12:58pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
I actually tried to make a trek ship once. It was going pretty well actually, but I just didn't like how it turned out. Here it is:
Image

And this is a ship partially inspired by trek and partially inspired by the Rebel Blockade Runner:
Image
I'm a bit iffy on the four rear turrets though, since the arcs of the two mid-ship heavies can cover the rear with or without the turrets, so let me know what you think. Also, the thing at the front is a deflector dish, and the impulse engines are at the rear of the nacelles. (They're not really impulse engines, but I haven't thought of a propulsion mechanism yet...)

And this is what I am working on right now:
Image
I'm thinking of adding wings to the sides to make it seem more, how should I put this, complete.
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Kenny_10_Bellys
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 07:50pm 

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Joined: 2003-01-20 08:19am
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Location: Central Scotland
I think you should use the same technique you used to make the secondary hull on your Star Trek ship, and lose as many of those razor sharp straight lines as you can. You dont have to make it a blob, just add a little grace to it. Sharp lines an atom thick are the curse of CGI and are to be avoided if you can. A tiny bevel helps loads, or add a slight curve to stop it being too obvious. I also add a little gaussian blur to final pictures (0.25 pixels in photoshop, since you ask) to take the CGI edge off.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2010-12-27 11:05pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
Hmm...

Well, Sketchup doesn't have a bevel feature, and the soften/smooth feature I used on the secondary hull only works on surfaces the program thinks are curved. When soften is used on a sharp edge, it just looks like the line has been hidden.

But, I'll see what I can do.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2011-01-01 11:37pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
Okay, so. I've finally hit a dilemma.

Every time I try to model a ship, I fail. I can think of parts of a ship, such as engines, turret bases, turret barrels, bridges, shield projectors, comm equipment, hull pieces, etc. But, when I go to make the ship that contains these things, I cannot make a hull that feels right. Every hull I churn out either feels wrong, a repetition, or just plain stupid.
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Agent Sorchus
PostPosted: 2011-01-01 11:48pm 

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Joined: 2008-08-16 09:01pm
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Ah the opposite problem I find myself faced with. Are you constructing the hull by adding things to it, or are you taking a block and sculpting it? Sculpting is what I do, and I think works better to develop a strong unified hull. The other way is harder (at least for me) but I think it can work just fine.

But yeah my problem is adding detail to a hull.
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Knife
PostPosted: 2011-01-02 12:30am 

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Joined: 2002-08-30 02:40pm
Posts: 14836
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain
Imperial528 wrote:
Okay, so. I've finally hit a dilemma.

Every time I try to model a ship, I fail. I can think of parts of a ship, such as engines, turret bases, turret barrels, bridges, shield projectors, comm equipment, hull pieces, etc. But, when I go to make the ship that contains these things, I cannot make a hull that feels right. Every hull I churn out either feels wrong, a repetition, or just plain stupid.



ok... Think of some thing simple. A flying saucer or some thing else pretty basic. Now model it one way in pieces and then make another one as a sculpture. See which method works best for you.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2011-01-02 07:41am 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
I usually make a basic hull shape and attempt to add on to it. But as of late, it isn't working.
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Kenny_10_Bellys
PostPosted: 2011-01-02 08:51am 

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Joined: 2003-01-20 08:19am
Posts: 836
Location: Central Scotland
Writers block, eh? We all get it, and its a bitch. My model making tends to come in fits and starts, where i suddenly get inspiration and I model like a sumbitch for a few weeks, then I'm burned out for a couple of months. I've never been very good at forcing it, I just wait for the next bolt to hit me, usually while watching a movie or looking at cool designs on the electric interwebs.

As for modelling practices, you seem to work in a pretty linear way from what I can see. You build the bulk of the shape with a few primitives first, then stick on engines, turrets and whatever else you can think of. Its techically easy, but a bit limiting. Like the others have mentioned, you should try and shake yourself out of that and use slightly different methods.

You could build in your usual way, then cut away at the main body to sculpt a more intricate shape before detailing. You get some interesting unexpected effects sometimes that give you more ideas. You can also build from the inside out in the reverse manner, layering on areas instead of chopping away. Its a bit messy technically but works well for looks and is easy to do. Yet another way is to build in subsections, building fairly detailed major subsystems separately and then combining them at the end. Similarly you can start at one end of the model and work your way to the other, modeling in a decent level of detail as you go. Combinations of all these could be used of course.
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2011-01-02 10:37am 

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Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Posts: 1360
Well, I've tried to break the block by going back to my old construction technique. It's very similar to the current one, but I find it produces complex results more often. Rather than extrude the entire model from a few sketches, I make half of it and flip it across the remaining axis. It probably helps since it allows me to focus more on it, since I don't have to focus on the symmetry as much. Here's one I just made with this method:
Image

In case anyone is wondering, I made the Warlord's hull with the same method.
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Kenny_10_Bellys
PostPosted: 2011-01-02 11:10am 

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Joined: 2003-01-20 08:19am
Posts: 836
Location: Central Scotland
I think simply mirroring to save on construction time is not innovating your design process, its just a time saver to reach the same place you were before more quickly.

If you want to be a bit different using the mirror tool, mirror this hull again with a slight gap between them and build a twin hull catamaran design. Or, you could maybe build a third section in the middle and make these sections just part if the model. Maybe mirror the hull above itself instead of to the sides?

Dont want to mirror? Instead of the obvious thin front to thicker rear, turn this around and make the thick end the front. You then build a new section to become the front, with this section the middle and tapered rear? This might make you think a little more, maybe making the flight deck off center towards the top and below it could be a hangar bay or weapon on the centerlibe.

Basically, dont make this first part the main body. Make it only a part of the whole design. Spin it around, mirror it in different ways, slice it at an odd angle, anything to change how you currently look at it. Then build on that new start, and you'll find yourself moving in a new direction and should end up with a more detailed and interesting shape by default.
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